Essay on Dubliners: Literary Analysis

Essay on Dubliners: Literary Analysis

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Dubliners: Literary Analysis

James Joyce wrote Dubliners to portray Dublin at the turn of the early 20th century. In Dubliners, faith and reason are represented using dark images and symbols. James Joyce uses these symbols to show the negative side of Dublin. In “The Sisters,” “The Boarding House,” and “The Dead” dark is expressed in many ways. James Joyce uses the light and dark form of symbolism in his imagination to make his stories come to life.

The tale of “The Sisters” has dark images related to faith. Darkness is shown when the priest, Father Flynn, is lying in his deathbed: "When the family went up to the altar, there he lay solemn and copious” (6). This is a grave portrayal, in the look of his eyes and his face. The appearance of the priest’s “face was very truculent, grey, and massive with black cavernous nostrils” (6). Although the narrator did observe two candles that were near the priest’s head, the candles are implied to being dark, with a “pale thin flame” (6). Faith brings an emotional shadow over the priest’s house.

In Dubliners, emotions are portrayed through light and dark imagery. The boy feels light emotions toward the priest’s death: “I found it strange that neither I nor the day seemed in a mourning mood and I his even annoyed at discovering in myself a sensation of freedom as if I had been freed from something by his death” (4). Although the narrator shows no grief toward the priest’s death, he is frightened. The boy imagines “the heavy, grey face of the paralytic” (3). His imagination brings dark images. However, this is the only thing that haunts him in the back of his mind. The boy’s pain is caused by the suffering within his thoughts.

Places are often connected with image...


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...of the Julia’s choir represents the spirit and joys of having a good time and the melody, which brings in the season. The reasons brought a negative appeal of the cold during the wintertime.

In “The Dead,” snow shows an expression of a dark image through faith. Gabriel has a feeling the snow falls around him, as it covers Ireland, the houses of the living and the graves of the dead. Snow falls onto the “universe” lightly. It falls, upon the descendents of all the living and the dead (225). The snow is used as a sign of cold, where people are trapped in their houses and homes. “The snow stiffen frieze, a cold fragrant air from out of doors escaped from crevices and folds” (177). The snow symbolizes deep and long-lasting human truth that shows the solitude of the soul. The separation of snow becomes a metaphor for the separation between the living and the dead.

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